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Director Lets Elderly Woman in Crowd at Memory Care Center Step In To Conduct Choir

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High school choir students from Texas delivered an incredible Christmas gift to a retired music educator who is struggling with memory loss.

Members from the Wylie East High School Choir in Wylie, Texas, were singing Christmas carols around their community when they stopped at a memory care center that housed a very special resident.

As the a capella group began to sing, a woman named Doris appeared to be captivated, moving her arms softly like a music conductor, as though memories of earlier years had come flooding back into her soul.

“The choir began to sing and this LOVELY lady came out and started lightly conducting the group from her walker,” Choir Buzz wrote on Facebook.

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Choir directors Ashley and Nathan Dame noticed the way that Doris responded to the choir and thought she might want to step in front of the group as a guest conductor.

“We noticed that she was conducting and after the carol, my husband asked if she had been a choir director. She had, and we offered her the opportunity to conduct. She was so excited and our hearts were just bursting,” Ashley Dame told Choir Buzz.

Doris stepped back from her walker and moved her arms with emotion as the choir sang a beautiful a capella rendition of “Silent Night.”

The moment was powerful for Doris, as she led the group through their well-rehearsed beautiful dynamic swells and rich harmonies.

The former music director talked about the way she would preserve the magical, Christmas-spirited memory in her heart.

“I’ll feel this moment for the rest of my life. I may not remember from day to day, but I’ll remember in my heart and my arms,” Doris told the choir.

The moment made a lasting impression on the high school students as well, who later made Christmas cards for Doris and the other residents in her community.

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“The students made cards the next day, because she told them that she doesn’t remember events well. The kids printed off a picture of her conducting and made her and all the other residents holiday cards. What a beautiful gesture!” Choir Buzz wrote.

The Wylie East High School Choir certainly makes beautiful music, but is perhaps even better at showing love.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Phoenix, Arizona
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Lifestyle & Human Interest